Friday, June 26, 2015

Woodland Belle

The current weather in Delhi is mildly reminiscent of a sweaty armpit. Humid, sweaty and hot and needless to say, not extremely pleasant. Now that I have put this wildly vivid image in your head, I shall get on with my work. This shoot was not easy. Not just because of the aforementioned reasons but because the lighting becomes an issue when you live in the armpit. It's either too harsh or just not enough. Let's not forget how the sweat impacts your face in the photographs. I don't mind my make up melting off my face. There aren't five layers anyway. What I do however mind is looking like I stepped right out of the gym or splashed my face with water. It's not the sexy, sultry kind of a wet look, if you know what I mean. This look was specially hard given that we were shooting in a woodland and trying to create a blushing belle with the brambles and yellow flowers kind of a mood. It helps that the most exciting part of the outfit for me were the large gold jhumkas with the chunky domes at the bottom. Never one to shy away from a little masala tadka to your Parisian street style, I wouldn't wear my culottes without a beautiful piece of jewellery this season. How are you wearing yours? 
P.S: I might have broken a record for dabbing my face in order to rid it of the excessive sweat this shoot. Yay for small feats.

White crop top: Zara
Striped culottes: C/O Stalk buy love
Earrings: Amethyst by Rahul Popli
Bracelet: C/O Miss Flurrty
Nude wedges: Random shoe store (Australia)

Photography by: Sohail Singh. Instagram (@sohailsingh)


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Less is more

If less is more, what is more? You could pose this quasi-philosophical question to yourself and still receive no clear answer because there clearly isn't one. One day we are all about the emblazoned jackets and the other, it's all about trading everything dressy in your wardrobe for the 'homeless but has money for pizza' look, a.k.a the wave of normcore. The other day I read a tweet by Bryanboy about how normcore was dead and I am all like, is it time to fish out my sequins and fish nets yet?
But keeping up with the trends is becoming harder than keeping up with the Kardashians (and Jenners, if I might add). So I do what I do best. Cool, airy linen jacket and shorts co-ordinates with a side of flatforms and a slightly risqué crop top to show off those pizza-base with toppings, abs. 
Take a cue from this look: Less is more. Air as much of yourself as you can while the sun shines. I don't want too many long, heavy things to wear this summer. Unless it's a perfectly good man-repelling summer trench.

Linen jacket and shorts: C/O Stalk Buy Love
Crop top: Nasty Gal
Flatforms: Charles & Keith
All jewellery: C/O Miss Flurrty

Photography Courtesy: Riddhima Arora Behance or reach her on email at

Monday, June 1, 2015

The style divide

Continuing from where I left, regaling you with my tales from the holy and sightly town of Banaras, I shot a blog post with the locals of the city. Travel is pointless if you do not come back with memories of strangers and experiences of how the unknown is not always strange. It is only befitting to sit by the Ghats, talk to the local sadhus who perform holy ceremonies and all kinds of Hindu rites there to see life from another spectrum. A city bustling with diversity in human life, everybody has a unique story to tell. I donned my comfortable white Gap India tee and swiped my red lipstick to get ready for a 'style divide' shoot with the locals. India has not always been a country that has seen too kindly over allowing FDI in the retail sector. We are lucky that as of today, the Indian Government allows for FDI in the retail sector up to 51%. While the debate still rages on about what opening up the FDI does to the Indian market and its retailers, I am of the opinion that allowing foreign players only exposes the market to healthy competition, more employment opportunities and more options for the people at large. It is not such a bad idea after all to make it a largely organised sector. Given how the Indian market has taken to foreign brands like Zara et al, it was only some time before Gap found its way here, soon to be followed by the likes of H & M and Massimo Dutti, I hear. From long before I took off on this soliloquy, I had thought about what the real street style heroes of India wore. I possibly cannot emphasise it enough but style to me will always be as style does. I spoke to four starkly diverse individuals in Banaras and took a crack at their story here. The real street style of India remains unfettered by the FDI policy and there in lies the beauty. The style divide as is highlighted by the images, shines through as I create the 360 degrees effect while my muse stays put.

This is Shanti. Clad in her polka dotted saree, I saw her at her make-shift shop set up under a tarpaulin cover of not a very large surface area. She sells trinkets, arms and amulets by the Dashashwamedha ghat of the river Ganga and has been working hard at her job for forty years now. It's no mean feat given the blazing sun and the soaring temperatures of Varanasi but she was still a sport and even smiled for us. I also told her I had her name tattooed at the nape of my neck. She smiled in response, hopefully not thinking that I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Just by the way he poses you can tell that the man is a natural in front of the camera. Rajesh is a devout priest who has taken to this as his calling for five years now. We caught him right between his work and the myriad shades of saffron in the picture just speak to me as the colours of Banaras.

One of the brains behind the widely popular, 'Baba Lassi', Akash Yadav runs the place with his uncle. To claim that the lassi he hand makes each time is magical would be putting it mildly. An entrepreneurial drive that has made this joint hugely popular with international tourists makes Akash one of our street style heroes. He ensures that you scribble a message or a note for Baba Lassi on the large yellow walls which are already covered to every inch in ink by tourists from all across the world. We sat and had long chats with him over lassi.

This emerald green dhoti, amongst other things is what sets Lachhu Sahni apart from all the other boat owners and oarsmen at the ghats. He has his hands full with two fool proof business models of Banaras; a paan shop and the ownership of a boat. He was sporting enough to tether his boat to where we were so that we could shoot with him on it. The next day he also waved to us when we crossed the ghat yet again.



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